Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Manning Fallacy

There's a LOT of public sentiment (and money) moving toward the Colts, even with the line all the way to Indy giving 6. This, of course, leads to only one question:

Why?

You have to completely pretend the regular season never happened (or that the NFC is very much the Senior Circuit equivalent) to honestly believe this is a touchdown game. Most of the talk has centered around Peyton Manning "not allowing" this opportunity to pass - as if Brees & Co. have no idea of the ramifications of this game in cementing their legacies. However, if you'll indulge me, I'd like to posit something slightly controversial: while Manning is a legit 1st-ballot Hall of Famer with a legit claim to the title of "Best Ever", today, Drew Brees is a better quarterback.

Brees is 3 years younger (30 to Manning's 33), threw for more TDs and fewer INTs in fewer attempts (34:11 in 514 vs. 33:16 in 571), and completed a higher percentage of his passes (70.6 to 68.8). Manning led in DYAR (see www.footballoutsiders.com), a measure of success over raw yardage, but Brees was a close second, and his 12% fewer attempts can account for the entirety of the difference. If Manning is the gold standard, you're still measuring Brees in ounces Troy. It just might be 24k to 22k at this point.

Beyond that, the Saints can actually run the ball - first in the world in DVOA (again, FO.com), a measure of rushing success versus down-and-distance and game state, with three legit backs with vastly different profiles. The Colts will go one-dimensional and put it on the back of their Superman, but the Saints were actually in the top 10 against the pass this year, and Jabari Greer is a sound lock-down corner who can disrupt Wayne and/or Clark in coverage. While Manning picked apart the Jets using Collier and Garcon last week, Greg Williams gets 2 weeks to scheme against the crossing routes and limit YAC. It's a wash, at worst.

Besides that, the Saints are deeper at every position - and their depth also includes a number of possible big-play threats. While Indy is dicking around (and both teams' numbers are legit terrible on special teams), only NO really has the ability to break a punt or INT for 6.

For those reasons, I can't imagine laying the points - take the Saints, take the 6, profit.

1 comment:

麻將一及通 said...

當身處逆境時,要能忍一時之氣,吃一時之苦,並及早確立自己的目標,總有一天,你會嘗到那甘美的果實。........................................